Responding to the imminent departure of Stockton University’s president, Senate Budget Chairman Paul Sarlo (D-36) today sent a letter to the university requesting that the acting president and/or chairman of the board of trustees appear before the committee this Thursday.
Sarlo wants to discuss the school’s recent initiative to establish a satellite campus on the grounds of the former Showboat Casino in Atlantic City.
The budget chair last week requested that President Herman J. Saatkamp Jr. appear before the committee at 10 a.m. Thursday when the committee will review the Governor’s FY2016 budget recommendation for higher education. Saatkamp, however, who recently resigned his position, is reportedly taking a medical leave of absence effective immediately.
“Although I am concerned for the well-being of the now-former President, I remain committed to obtaining answers to the many questions surrounding Stockton University’s recent initiative to establish a satellite campus in Atlantic City on the grounds of the former Showboat Casino,” Sarlo wrote.
“As chairman of the budget committee, I am requesting that the Acting President … and/or the Chair of the Board of Trustees appear before the committee, I will be asking questions regarding the real estate transaction to acquire the former Showboat Casino, as well as other issues related to the attempt to establish the satellite campus,” he added. “Specifically, I would like to understand whether the University’s participants were aware, during the contract negotiation process, of Showboat’s parent corporation’s (Caesars) financial status at the time. The company was in the process of filing for bankruptcy and would do so less than 30 days later.”